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Thread: 1(AUST)ASC -Their Origins and Purpose? Help Pse!

  1. #1
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    Default 1(AUST)ASC -Their Origins and Purpose? Help Pse!

    Hello All,
    I am particularly interested in these guys. I did 3 tours in the post-WW2 38 Group. In 38 Grp we had BASOs (Brigade Air Support Officers). There was a BASO(OS) – Offensive Support, and a BASO(TS) – Transport Support.
    The BASO(TS) was the air-supply guy. If you needed “stuff”, he (or his crews/aircraft) got it to you – everything from ULLA to JATFOR!
    The BASO(OS) was the guy who’s teams – working with the Army just behind the FLOT – called down the ‘cab-rank’ of FGA aircraft to bomb/strafe enemy transport/strong-points, etc, when the local Army couldn’t sort them out!
    The “calling down” was done by FACs (Forward Air Controllers). In my day, a team of 3 in a vehicle – FAC Officer, Driver, and Signaller.
    These two guys Maj A D Molloy, and Capt A P Fleming, appeared in the list of N African POWs in WW2. They were listed as being from 1(Aust)ASC, which I take to be 1 Australian Air Support Control/Company? Was/is this the first glimmerings of “Jointery” where two different Units/Services operated together as one team?
    Above the BASO was, IIRC, a DASO (Divisional Air Support Officer), but for those of us plodding across Salisbury Plain, or Otterburn, he was up in the Command Stratosphere!
    And the reason for my interest is that when my Unit eventually got to Stanley airstrip in the Falklands Unpleasantness we inherited, amongst other things!, the 5 Bde BASO’s large bag of fearsome curry powder – made contents of the 24-hr UK ratpack just that bit more palatable!!
    Who were 1(Aust)ASC? Who knows their history?
    TIA
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Default Re: 1(AUST)ASC -Their Origins and Purpose? Help Pse!

    Hello,

    These two officers are most likely your men:

    Major Allan Percy FLEMING Australian Army
    https://nominal-rolls.dva.gov.au/vet...d=419130&c=WW2
    https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/Sear...aspx?B=6223420

    Col Archie David MOLLOY Australian Army
    https://nominal-rolls.dva.gov.au/vet...790198&c=WW2#R
    Personal records not digitized.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 4th November 2020 at 21:02.

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    Default Re: 1(AUST)ASC -Their Origins and Purpose? Help Pse!

    Hi,

    https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/.../3890/data.pdf

    AUSTRALIAN MILITARY FORCES
    SIGNALS
    Molloy, Maj. A. D

    INFANTRY
    Fleming, Lt. A. P.


    MOLLOY, ARCHIE DAVID 351 (VX18) PoW
    FLEMING, ALLAN PERCY VX3359 OBE, PoW


    https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/Sear...aspx?B=6223420

    Look at the page 11 of 39.

    Regards

    Mojmir

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    Default Re: 1(AUST)ASC -Their Origins and Purpose? Help Pse!

    Hello,

    A bit more on Allan Fleming and Archie Molloy:

    In June 1941, three more Australian officers had attended the RAF Army Co-operation School, which was now located at Ismalia. They were Captain Hodge, Royal Australian Artillery (RAA) Lieutenant Jim London RAA, and Captain Allan Fleming, 2/8th Australian Infantry Battalion. On completion of the course Lieutenant London was posted to Britain's 200 Air Intelligence Liaison Section which was attached to No.451 (RAAF) Army Co-operation Squadron. This Australian Empire Training Squadron had been placed under 253 Wing, a small Air Component Wing reconstituted in July 1941*

    Captain Fleming became a founding member of 1 Australian Air Support Control. The two air support controls were raised at the end of September 1941; variants of those experimented on at Britain's Army Co-operation Command in 1940, they were to form the basis of the first dedicated air support communications network deployed in operations in Allied forces. Corps were given the wherewithal to order up air support for themselves; Air Support Control Army Staffs would be attached to corps headquarters where, in conjunction with the commanders or deputy commanders of RAF formations most likely to be affected, they could coordinate and authorise all air attacks in support of forward infantry. An Air Support Control signals organisation would transmit reconnaissance information and air support requests from forward formations to corps and on to airfields and allow for the control of support aircraft in the air. Detachments located at corps headquarters and providing communications with airfields were known as Rear Air Support Links, or RASLs, those at divisions and brigades providing communications with Air Support Control headquarters at Tentacles, and those at divisions or brigades controlling support aircraft and receiving air reconnaissance information as Forward Air Support Links or FASLs...

    On 23 November (1941), one of 1st South African's Division's brigades was overrun by German armour and 1 Australian Air Support Control Signals lost its two wireless telegraphy (W/T) detachments who had been attached to the brigade as Forward Air Support Links and Tentacles. Worse was to come. The following day Rommel launched a surprise attack and 'there ensued a most interesting period which, as a study of panics , chaotics and gyrotics, is probably unsurpassed in Military history'. Both advanced and rear Headquarters 30 Corps, temporarily encamped at Gabr Saleh, were overrun and forced into a disorganised retreat to the south-east. Later that night, HQ 30 Corps and 1 Australian Air Support Control had to negotiate unfamiliar minefields in the dark, following Eighth Army's order that they join 13 Corps somewhere in the vicinity of Gambut. Many of the drivers became lost and dawn on on the 25th revealed that Sergeant Simpson of 1 Australian Air Support Control Signals was missing and that only Captain Scrase remained of HQ 1 Air Support Control Army Staff. Major Molloy and Captain Fleming had been captured by the German 21st Armoured Division.

    There follows a lengthy description of Fleming and Molloy's incarceration, including meeting Rommel!

    By late December 1941, 1 Australian Air Support Control was in urgent need of rest and refitting and on the 30th the unit was returned to Gaza and attached to 9th Australian Division Signals.

    Only thirty-two of its original members remained, Molloy and Fleming among them. While under guard, close to a captured New Zealand mobile surgical unit near Sidi Rezegh, the two officers had co-operated with other prisoners to surreptitiously repair and fuel a German truck, which was then filled with assorted Allied officers and wounded New Zealanders and driven boldly out of camp. Travelling through the night and armed with nothing but a compass, a stolen map and sufficient nerve to trade 'Heil Hitlers' with the passing German troops, they somehow made it across a hundred miles of desert to the Egyptian border. There, Molloy and Fleming had been personally 'debriefed' on their experiences by General Auchinleck.**

    * 253 Wing also included 229 Squadron RAF (fighters) and 113 Squadron RAF (light bombers)

    ** http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article245354706

    See:
    More than Little Heroes:Australian Army Air Liaison Officers in the Second World War.
    Baker,Nicola.
    Canberra:Strategic & Defence Studies Research School,1994.
    pp.25-31

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 5th November 2020 at 07:32.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 1(AUST)ASC -Their Origins and Purpose? Help Pse!

    Col/Mojmir,
    Very many thanks for that info - fills in a few more gaps! And I had remembered correctly.
    Onwards and upwards!!
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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